Prof. Kevin McCartney

Host institution: University of Szczecin, Faculty of Geosciences

Grant category: U.S. Scholar
Project: Study of Paleocene and Eocene Silicoflagellates at University of Szczecin, Poland

Academic year: 2016-2017
Grant start date: September 1, 2016
Grant end date: April 30, 2017

Kevin McCartney is Professor of Geology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, a small four-year school (~1000 students) located in northern Maine, where has taught for 28 years. Besides his various teaching responsibilities, Kevin has been active with informal education in the community of Northern Maine. He established the Northern Maine Museum of Science in 1996 and in 2003 finished the four-year construction of the Maine Solar System Model, the largest such model in the western hemisphere (there is a larger one in Sweden). He is also active in NASA educational events, including an annual Planet Head Day (check videos on that promotes space science education and raises money for a local cancer charity. He is active in Rotary International, and will attend Rotary meetings while in Szczecin, Poland.

Kevin’s research interests are in paleontology, more specifically a group of marine single-celled algae known as silicoflagellates. These microorganisms have siliceous (quartz) skeletons with a fossil record that goes back more than 100 million years. Kevin’s research extends from the earliest to modern members of this group and includes projects in all oceans around the world. In 2009, he began work with a then-graduate student from Poland, Jakub Witkowski, and together they have published more than 15 papers and described five genera and 20+ silicoflagellate species. Kevin will spend 8 months with Witkowski at the University of Szczecin to study diatoms and silicoflagellates from the north Atlantic Ocean and better understand silicoflagellate evolution through the entire length of their geologic history.

Follow Prof. McCartney adventure in Poland here: